Saturday, September 15, 2012

Longfellow Square Crossing

This crosswalk across State Street has always been a bit of a bottleneck. It located right after the major Longfellow Square intersection of State and Congress Streets and provides pedestrians a direct route for heading into the West End via Pine Street. Here is a Bing maps bird's eye view photo of the area. I'm not sure how long ago they added the little flashing flashing LED lights below the yellow pedestrian sign on the other side of the street from this photo, but it's a nice touch to signal when people are trying to cross. Ultimately, this crossing and the rest of State Street would be vastly improved by slowing traffic that is cruising through Portland as fast as possible to cross the Casco Bay Bridge. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A Way Across Marginal Way

Looks like this pedestrian refuge island on Marginal Way, conveniently located across from the entrance to Bayside Village and Walgreens/Trader Joe's, is complete. It also appears that they might even add some flashing lights on the poles. similar to the nearby crosswalk on the Preble Street extension near Hannaford. If all of the proposed development in Bayside comes true, I imagine that this intersection may someday have a full set off traffic lights.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bicycle Faux Pas

Here are a couple photographic examples of improper bicycle etiquette. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Carless in Portland

In case you haven't seen it yet, the Press Herald ran a story today about the steady decline in car ownership in the city. To summarize, the statistics show that the number of passenger vehicles registered in Portland has been declining for several years while ridership on the local bus system has gone up. The article features some brief profiles of car-free individuals, such as city councilor David Marshall. It's nice to be reminded that I'm not alone and I look forward to some possible follow up stories on the subject. I wouldn't mind being interviewed as well as someone who has lived a generally successful life here without a car since 2008. As noted on the Rights of Way blog, the city's housing and transportation policies are "focused overwhelmingly on building cheap or free parking" despite the trend that people are driving less and demanding better/safer/healthier/more sustainable neighborhoods.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Franklin Street Sidewalk - Part 1

If you've travelled in this area the last few weeks you've probably noticed a new sidewalk has been created on the eastern side of Franklin Street between Middle and Congress Streets (highlighted in Orange below):

While this is a very small step in comparison to the possible re-design of the street proposed by the Franklin Reclamation Authority it is a step (or should I say... sidewalk) in the right direction. There still exists a gap in the sidewalk on the Western side of this stretch of Franklin Street, as well as the Eastern Side between Congress and Marginal Way. It's also worth noting that the footpath connecting Federal Street is still not blocked but is also not accommodated (no crosswalks or maintenance or paving) by the city.

Here are a few shots of the new sidewalk. Consider it a small step towards the future Franklin Street.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Veterans Bridge - May 2012

Here are some photos of the new pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure on the South Portland side of the new and improved Veterans Memorial Bridge. According to the project's website, "all users of the bridge can expect to drive, walk or bike on the new bridge this July."

Veterans Memorial Bridge South Portland Maine May 2012 by Corey Templeton
Where the bridge and pedestrian pathway connects to South Portland's Main Street. 

Veterans Memorial Bridge South Portland Maine May 2012 by Corey Templeton
Improved sidewalk on the bridge over rail and I-295 offramp. 

Veterans Memorial Bridge South Portland Maine May 2012 by Corey Templeton
Approaching the bridge itself we have a pedestrian crossing. The pedestrian lights will flash when a button is pressed, which should hopefully catch the attention of automobiles traveling at highway speeds. 

Veterans Memorial Bridge South Portland Maine May 2012 by Corey Templeton
The new bridge is straight ahead. It is scheduled to open later this year . 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wear a Helmet!

I've been getting into bicycling more and more lately, and expect that the warmer weather ahead will get a lot of people out on the roads and trails with their bikes for the first time this year.  I'm a fan of helmets, not for how dorky they make people look, but more for the practical reason of being an important part of cyclding safety. So today I want to direct readers of this blog to this post over at local blog Sweeter Salt. The author of Sweeter Salt had an unfortunate accident on her bicycle recently which resulted in fractured elbows (yikes!), but thankfully she is also pro-helmet and avoided any serious head injuries.

Some snippets from her story:

Basically the lock fell out of the basket and tangled in my front wheel, making it screech to a stop, tossing me over the handle bars. I landed on my hands, but banged my head on the ground. 
WEAR YOUR BIKE HELMET!!! Each and every single time you ride a bike. I don’t care if your hair looks cute – not an excuse. If I hadn’t been wearing mine I could have had brain damage. Seriously.
 Oh, and don’t have loose stuff hanging around. Secure your lock, don’t wear loose clothing, tie your shoes, etc. This all could have been avoided if I put my lock in my backpack.
Kudos to this local cyclist for sharing her story. Hopefully her pro-helmet message and bike safety tips are taken to heart by bicyclists of all ages and skill levels.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Google Told Me So

I've noticed that Google's walking and bicycling directions officially recognize this connection of Oxford Street across Franklin Street/Arterial. Time to put in some crosswalks (or maybe reconnect the street)!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Re: Metro QR Codes

To follow up on my last post, the QR codes on the Metro bus stop signs are now working. Scanning it with your smartphone's QR reader (there are my programs that do this, I use Google Goggles) provide a link to the corresponding bus route's timetable and map on the Metro website.

You can scan this code on your computer screen if you want to test it out from the comfort of your home. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Metro QR Codes

I recently noticed a QR code on a Metro bus stop sign and took a few snapshots with my phone. Has anyone else seen these around town? I tried scanning the code with my Android smartphone (using Google Goggles) but it didn't seem to work.  I didn't see anything on the Metro website about this, so perhaps it's in the early stages or the code wasn't actually put up by them. It would be neat to have these QR codes at bus stops around town that would provide a direct link on your smartphone to a route map and timetable. If I was feeling ambitious I would also suggest that Metro provide open transit data to let riders track the location of buses in real time (but that's a topic for another day). 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Right Direction

You might have seen it already, but you should be aware of a report published by the Alliance for Biking & Walking which found that "the number of Mainers who commute to work by bicycle increased by 120 percent between 1990 and 2009." Impressive! You should check out this press release by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for all the details. Here are a few more highlights they noted:
  • Maine ranks 10th nationally in the number of people who bike and walk to work
  • While 12 percent of all trips in the U.S. are by bike and foot, the report notes that only 1.6 percent of federal transportation dollars go to biking and walking.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Go Metro

You might have seen my mug on the Metro website lately. I also provided a little testimonial:

Corey T. -- "As a car-free Portlander, I rely on Metro for transportation around town when I'm not walking or biking. I ride it every day and enjoy the financial savings and convenience of not having to own a car. On days when coworkers have to deal with traffic jams or winter weather, I can proudly say that I not only made it to work on time, but also finished reading a few chapters of whatever book I'm reading while on the bus. I recommend trying a trip on the Metro to everyone. Even if the bus isn't your only method of transportation, it can be a healthy part of a balanced transportation diet."Corey takes METRO to his job at UNUM.


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